The Mexican Men Chronicles is the story of two brothers who immigrated to the United States at different times. The story is told through free style poetic verse. Woven into the book's website will be more pictures and maybe some original unpublished poems. Please make sure to check it out.
Why write this book? As a writer, educator, historian, and chronicler of family events, it became clear to me that "Our" story needed to be told. The recent anti-immigrant sentiment that is sweeping this great nation, caused me to reflect on my own family's journey to the United States. This book represents that trip.
When my cousin, Luis Campos, found this treasure trove of old family pics among my late grandmother's belongings, I immediately felt an inspiration to do something with them. I wanted to share them with more people. Thus, the notion of writing poems about the men in my family came to light.
I am proud of my family. I have five siblings and each of us is college educated. My parents were focused on ensuring that we understand the value of an education. Whenever I asked my dad, why did he leave Mexico to come to the U.S., his answer was always the same, "A better life. More opportunity." Nothing has changed for the immigrants who come over today. My Uncle Hector's four children are also very successful in their field: a social worker, engineer, architect, and salesman all contributing mightily to this country. Our parents came to this country so we could shine. And we did!
My dad and his brother Hector, were adopted by their Aunt Josefa and her husband Jose Campos de la Rosa. Though Sixto Retana planted the seed, Jose Campos raised the boys as his own. Josefa was Sixto's sister and she could not bear children. So when she heard that there were two little nephews living in squalor, she knew she wanted them. Carlota, their birth mother, was a young, struggling, single parent who needed money. She reluctantly gave her boys to Josefa to raise. As part of the deal, she had to leave San Francisco del Oro and move to another town. She moved to Delicias. Ramon, my father, who had a natural curiosity, eventually found her. There is a poem on that reunion.
Finally, it is disturbing to me that the anti-immigrant (primarily Mexican) wave that is rooted in ignorance and rippling through other states is so readily accepted by the mainstream media. Where is our voice? Do we have a responsibility to come forth and say, "Wait, this hysteria is unacceptable!?" Absolutely.
The premise of these books is to demonstrate, through a different art form, some of the psychology, truth, thought process, critical thinking, and values rooted in the heart and minds of Mexican Men. These voices need to be heard.